Frequently Asked Questions
Determine the total square footage to be sodded by measuring (in feet) the length and
width of each area.  Multiply length times width to get square footage.  One roll of sod
will cover ten (10) square feet.  One pallet covers 700 ft² and a full semi-truck covers
14,000 ft².

How far in advance should sod be ordered?
To assure availability, sod should be ordered 3-4 days prior to delivery and 1 day prior
to pickup.  

How much sod can a standard pickup haul?
One pallet of sod (700 sq. ft.).

Should I add topsoil before I lay sod?
Adding at least 2” of topsoil is highly recommended, especially if you have an extreme
soil type (clay or sand).  A heavy clay soil may compact and not allow turf roots to
penetrate, may hold water on the surface, and may not allow air into the soil.  A sandy
and/or rocky soil may dry out easily, may not provide nutrients to turf, and may
promote high pH conditions.  Topsoil makes nutrients available to turf, will hold usable
water, and gives a softer lawn.

Is fertilizer necessary before installation?
Applying a starter fertilizer prior to laying sod will promote faster root growth.  The
fertilizer should be lightly raked in after spreading.  Be sure to follow directions as too
much fertilizer will burn the roots.  The fertilizer can be purchased in advance or
delivered with the sod.

Should weeds be removed from the soil before installation?
For best results, weeds should be removed, either chemically or mechanically.  
Herbicides which kill all plant material and have no residual effect on the turf are best.  
Be sure to follow directions regarding application and timeliness of use.

When is the best time to install sod?
Sod may be effectively transplanted in most conditions.  Spring and Fall are
considered to be the best times because of cooler temperatures and more available
moisture.  In Michigan sod is available starting in the early Spring (average Mid-April)
until the ground freezes (early December).

How long does it take to install sod?
A fairly conservative formula is three people can install two pallets (1,400 ft²) of sod in
one hour.  The best method is for two people to carry the sod to the area being
sodded while one person pieces the sod together.

What can I use to cut sod while installing?
Sod can be cut with anything sharp, such as an old knife, pocket knife, or even a
shovel.  Sod cuts easily and can be contorted to fit any area.

How long can I leave sod on the pallet before installing?
Sod is a very perishable product and should be installed the same day it is purchased,
and immediately in extremely hot weather, for best results.  When left rolled together
tightly on a pallet, the organic matter and fertilizer break down inside the roll
generating heat and depleting oxygen.  If left too long rolled up, the extreme heat and
lack of oxygen kills the plant.

How much water is necessary?
One installed, apply at least 1” of water.  During the rooting process (10-14 days),
water lightly twice daily.  Water should not puddle, but the roots need to stay moist.  As
the roots deepen, gradually lesson your watering schedule.

Is sod grown in topsoil better than sod grown in peat?
Michigan State University reports there is no difference in rooting capabilities between
mineral (topsoil) and muck (peat) sod initially or throughout time.  Peat soil is much
lighter than topsoil, which will make installation easier.  Peat soil tends to promote more
surface root growth which helps in the survival rate.  Peat also tends to hold more
moisture and nutrients which helps in sod transplanting survival.

Should I use seed or sod on slopes?
Sod is proven to be much better at retaining water, preventing soil erosion, and
providing instant cover and protection to sloped areas.  Stakes may be needed to hold
the sod in place during the rooting process.  Two stakes per roll is usually sufficient
and are available at our office.

What type of sod should be used for shaded areas?
Sod requires three things to survive – water, fertilizer, and sun.  If one of those three is
missing, sod may not survive.  There is no grass which will grow in complete shade.  In
partially shaded areas, fescue sod will have a better survival rate than bluegrass.
DeBuck's Sod Farm, Inc.
Davison, MI